(Contains plot spoilers)
Episode 10 “Forced Perspective” picks up from the last episode with Olivia contemplating what’s she’s been told by the Observer and that in all futures she will die! Broyles from our universe (the non-traitor!!!), aware that Olivia has been visiting health services frequently, asks her if everything is ok and she opens up to him about the warning. Broyles, concerned for her safety, tries to convince her not to take unnecessary risks until they have more information and establish the location of the Observer, but the stubbornness in Olivia to never give up persuades Broyles that she can continue to her job.
We then move on to the main story of the episode with a young teenage girl drawing on canvas paper in the city. All of a sudden she appears to change, sort of panicky and starts drawing frantically! When finished she approaches a man and gives him the drawing. Moments later the man is killed by a girder that falls from a construction site, which impales him!!! It turns out that the drawing she gave the man was an exact drawing of his death!! Wow!!! I have say that we haven’t had a Fringe like this in a while! What a fantastic start to a new case and just got me really excited about the rest of the episode!!!
The Fringe team are called in when they find out that the drawing depicted the man’s death in perfect detail and they manage to establish the identity of the girl from a nearby CCTV camera. Olivia and Lincoln pay a visit to the girls home, but the father says he doesn’t know who the girl is. On leaving the residence, Olivia and Lincoln bump into the girl, Emily, and start asking her questions, Emily reluctant to answer! The father, Jim, then appears, adamant that they stop asking Emily questions, and it turns out that Emily was experimented on at Massive Dynamic due to her ability to see the future. We are never told exactly what happened but we are led to believe it was pretty horrific, and the family have been moving from city to city and changing their identities so Massive Dynamic can’t find them. For this reason, Jim won’t allow the Fringe team to ask any further questions but Olivia leaves him her card in case he changes his mind.
Olivia pays a visit to Nina Sharpe at Massive Dynamic and asks her about Emily. Nina admits that they had tested on the girl and that she has such a fantastic ability that she could do wonders for their experiments on the brain!!! Olivia, horrified after her dealings with the cortexaphan trials, begins to attack Nina on what she has just said, but is interrupted by a call from Emily asking for Olivia to meet with her.
She meets Emily at a bench looking out to a lake and Emily shows Olivia her latest drawing where she saw the future of one of the men that was on the bus with her. The bus stopped and the man got off, but by the time Emily realised, the man had disappeared and she was unable to give the drawing to him, which showed a load of dead bodies with the man located in the middle. She tells Olivia about her ability and that the visions she has pretty much always come true! As the drawing doesn’t give much detail on where the event is likely to happen, Olivia decides to take Emily to see Walter. Walter’s theory is that Emily’s brain is tuning into vibrations of traumatic events as they flow backwards in time, something that he and William Bell studied many years ago. Jim, Emily’s father, turns up at the lab after Olivia called him so he wouldn’t worry, and allows Walter to hypnotise Emily to see if they can get more detail from the vision she saw. During the hypnosis, Emily establishes that the vision is of an explosion and that there was some sort of device in the man’s hand, Peter identifying it as a detonator. Emily comes across the debris of a sign which is attached to a courthouse, identifying the location. Peter quickly calls Olivia, who has also managed to identify the man from the bus (really!!! must have been a bloody good drawing!!), Albert Duncan, who recently lost custody of his children at the identified courthouse, and they realise that he is going to blow it up!
As they begin to evacuate the courthouse, the Fringe team try to locate the bomb, figuring that it will be in the car park below. They come across a truck which has a vast amount of explosives, enough to blow up a huge area, and as the bomb squad investigates and tells Peter that it could take them hours to disarm, Peter has a brain wave that as the bomb will be remote detonated, he blocks the frequency that Duncan is using. Upstairs in the courthouse, they find Duncan, who has already found the judge that allegedly took his children away from him, and Duncan uses the detonator, only to find it isn’t working. He then reveals that he has a bomb attached to him and as he goes to detonate, Olivia tries to talk him out of it, telling him she isn’t ready to die today and that if he detonates, he will be ruining all the lives around him including their families and children. Eventually he backs down and is arrested.
Back to Emily, and as they return home, Jim sees a van across the street that he believes belongs to Massive Dynamic, and starts to pack up the family. When he checks on Emily in her bedroom, she has disappeared. The Fringe team investigate the van, which turns out to be a dry cleaning van, but Olivia has a hunch on where Emily is and goes to the bench by the lake, telling Jim to meet her there. When Olivia turns up, Emily is sat on the bench but she literally looks like death. Olivia sees the most recent drawing that Emily has done, which is of Emily sat on the bench with her father looking at her and Olivia stood looking on, and Olivia realises that Emily is dying. As her father holds onto her, she tells him that she believes that everyone has a purpose and that this was hers after she managed to save all those lives at the courthouse. She then dies, with Walter explaining later that it was caused by an overload of electrical activity in her brain due to her ability.
Finally, Peter notices the pictures that Olivia is looking at, which are of the observers, and explains to Olivia who they are. She asks him if they are ever wrong about the future and Peter tells her not normally as they’ve alreasdy experienced it. Peter asks Olivia if one of them has said something to her and she says no, looking very troubled!! Later in the evening, Nina pays a visit to Olivia to check that she is ok after their altercation at Massive Dynamic about Emily. Olivia tells Nina that she’s been getting migraines and Nina says that she will give her a new medicine that they’ve been working on which apparently does wonders!! Hmm!!! As the episode comes to a close, an observer is watching her home from across the street, although I couldn’t quite tell if it is our friendly observer ‘September’ or if it was one of the others???
What an episode. It actually felt like the good old Fringe episodes in the beginning with a good solid case to solve! What a wonderful story to go along side Olivia’s predicament with her supposed death looming, although I admit that similar stories have been done plenty times before, I still enjoyed it!! The Fringe special effects were also on form this episode with that fantastic scene where Emily is exploring her vision through hypnosis, particularly with people levitating in thin air – just a truly amazing scene that can only be appreciated when you watch it!
One thing that was a bit odd and not really explored in the episode was that Olivia asked Emily in Walter’s lab if she could sense anything about Olivia’s future. It was cut short due to Jim, Emily’s father, coming in, but we didn’t go back to it and therefore couldn’t establish if Emily sensed anything, even by just an expression in her face.
I am also getting more and more interested in the Nina story and intrigued on where this one is going. It’s definitely building with the writers giving us a little at a time, or at least I hope that’s the case. And now Nina will be prescribing a particular drug to Olivia, well something is bound to happen soon??
By Kirsty Wavish